Bull Run by Paul Fleischman, David Frampton, David Frampton |, NOOK Book (eBook) | Barnes & Noble
Bull Run

Bull Run

3.7 16
by Paul Fleischman

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Newbery Medalist Paul Fleischman's fictional treatment of this Civil War battle is an intimate and sweeping portrait of this period in human history.

Northerners, Southerners, generals, couriers, dreaming boys, and worried sisters describe the glory, the horror, the thrill, and the disillusionment of the first battle of the Civil War.

Supports the


Newbery Medalist Paul Fleischman's fictional treatment of this Civil War battle is an intimate and sweeping portrait of this period in human history.

Northerners, Southerners, generals, couriers, dreaming boys, and worried sisters describe the glory, the horror, the thrill, and the disillusionment of the first battle of the Civil War.

Supports the Common Core State Standards.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Deborah Zink Roffino
Coiled by time and the battle at Bull Run, these are separate monologues from folks whose lives were forever altered by the Civil War. Together the eight fictional accounts from Southerners and the eight from Northerners tell a whole story of pain, loyalty, and disillusionment. This unforgettable lesson encourages youngsters to approach a situation with the knowledge that there are more than two sides to each story; there are as many accounts as there are witnesses. This book will provide insight as well as fine material for student drama.
School Library Journal
Gr 5 UpThrough the alternating viewpoints of 16 characters from various walks of life, readers gain insight into the first battle of the Civil War and into the nature of war in general. Poignant, dramatic cameos seamlessly woven together make for compelling historical fiction. (Mar. 1993)
Carolyn Phelan
Reminiscent of the PBS series "The Civil War," which featured voices reading from letters and diaries of the period, this unusual book spotlights a series of fictional characters, eight from the South and eight from the North, at the beginning of the conflict. The pieces, which appear as a series of single-page entries from 16 journals, stand alone as vivid monologues of well-realized characters. As time passes, the characters reveal more of themselves and their common tragedy, until their paths (or the paths of their loved ones) converge at Bull Run, where some die, others lose relatives, and many illusions of glory give way to images of death and devastation. While some of the characters are soldiers, others provide more oblique perspectives on the war: Toby Boyce, 11-year-old fife player from Georgia who is eager to see action at the front; young Minnesota farm girl Lily Malloy, whose beloved older brother runs away to join the Union army, never to return; Carlotta King, a slave accompanying her master to war, who flees north after the battle; Nathaniel Epp, an opportunistic photographer whose only loyalty is to his purse; and Edmund Upwing, a coachman hired to drive two congressmen and their wives on a picnic "to watch the thrashing of the Rebs" at Bull Run. Abandoning the conventions of narrative fiction, Fleischman tells a vivid, many-sided story in this original and moving book. An excellent choice for readers' theater in the classroom or on stage.

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
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Sales rank:
810L (what's this?)
File size:
3 MB
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Read an Excerpt

Colonel Oliver Brattle

The booning jerked me out of sleep, woke the dishes and set them chattering, and sent Clara dashing through the dark to the children. "Must be the Lord comin'!" cried one of the servants. I realized I'd been deeaming of Mexico. Strange.

I lit a candle. The clock read four thirty. All of Charleston seemed to be in the streets. I dressed, stepped out the front door, and was embraced at once by a teary-eyed stranger. "Praise the day!" he shrieked into my face. "They're firing on Fort Sumter!"

We gathered on Judge Frye's flat roof. The cannons rattled the very constellations. Shells sailed, their lit fuses tracing caliper-perfect arcs, then exploded. Each illumination of the bay was greeted with appreciative oohs and hurrahs. You'd have thought that the crowds were enjoying a Fourth of July display. Some brought baskets of food to the rooftops and raised glasses in toasts to South Carolina, Jefferson Davis, and General Beauregard. I was silent, though I shared their allegiance. I'd fought, however, fourteen years before from Veracruz to Mexico City. I remembered well what shells do to living flesh, and felt in melancholy mood. Amid all the cheering, the Negroes were similarly glum--suspiciously so. If they rejoiced that a war that might break their bonds had begun, they dared let no one discern it. By a bursting shell's light, I eyed Vernon, my body servant. He caught my glance and the slimmest of smiles fled his lips, like a snake disappearing down a hole.

Lily Malloy

Minnesota is flat as a cracker. Rise up on your toes and you can see across the state. Scarce even a tree in sight but fora few willows beside the creeks. Father said God put willows here that man might have switches to enforce His commandments. Father was a grim-faced Scot and a great believer in switching. Each morning he put on his spectacles, without which he was all but blind. And each evening all six of us were whipped for whatever failings he'd noticed that day. If no fault could be found, we were whipped just the same for any wrongs committed out of his sight. Wee Sarah was not spared, nor Patrick, seventeen and tall. Father was taller still.

One chill April Sunday in 1861, we rode in to church and found a crowd before the door. Mr. Nilson was reading from a newspaper. Fort Sumter had been attacked. The gallant defenders had surrendered the next day. The President had called the Union to arms. That such a far-distant doing should, like a lever, shake Crow County amazed me. Mother wept. The men swore, despite the Sabbath. There was talk that a regiment of one thousand soldiers was being raised in Minnesota. Patrick's eyes glittered like diamonds.

Reverend Bott railed against the Rebels that day. His sermon's subject was "A man's worst foes are those of his own household." Father repeated the line at supper, his eyes fixed upon Patrick. That night, Father gave him a terrible thrashing. Afterward, Patrick asked the reason. "You're thinking to scamper off shouted Father. "Don't think I don't know it! And don't think you'll succeed!" He stood his full height. "I can see fifty miles! I'll hunt you like a wolf, and skin you like one!"

I didn't think I'd sleep that night. At dawn I woke to find my hand holding an old willow whistle Patrick had fashioned. I knew then he was gone and began to cry. We were five years apart but dear to each other. How I did fear that he'd be caught. Then I heard Father roar, "And the stone-hearted rogue took my spectacles with him!"

Shem Suggs

Horses have always served me for kin. The first time one looked back into my eyes, I knew that I was no longer alone on this earth, orphan or no. Never had one of my own to care for. The folks I lived with kept mules. But we'd put up wayfarers crossing Arkansas. Their horses trusted me straightaway, as if they'd known me from before. I'd feed 'em and wash 'em and brush 'em and we'd talk. An hour after arriving, they'd come to me sooner than to their owners. I felt among family with 'em, and forlorn as a ghost when they'd gone.

I was boarding at Mr. Bee's when a traveler told us about Fort Sumter. He left us a newspaper from Virginia. I was nineteen and couldn't read a lick, but I spotted a picture of a horse. I asked Mr. Bee to read the words below. They called men to join the cavalry. Mr. Bee hated Yankees the way a broom hates dirt, and he started in again on Lincoln and the sovereign states and the constitutional right to secede. I just nodded my head like a wooden puppet, thinking about the newspaper instead. It said they'd give me a horse.

Gideon Adams

Though my skin is quite light, I'm a Negro, I'm proud of it, and I wept with joy along with my brethren at President Lincoln's call for men. How we yearned to strike a blow in the battle! Though the state of Ohio refused us the vote and discouraged us from settling, we rose to her aid just the same. No less than Cincinnati's whites,

we organized meetings, heard ringing speeches, sang "Hail Columbia" and "John Brown's Body." All recognized that Cincinnati was vulnerable to capture. We therefore proposed to ready a company of Home Guards, its numbers, training, and equipment to be provided by the black citizens of the city and its services offered to her defense. At last the nation's eyes would behold the Negro's energy and courage!

Bull Run. Copyright © by Paul Fleischman. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Meet the Author

Paul Fleischman grew up in Santa Monica, California in a house with a printing press, a grand piano, a shortwave radio, and his father—children’s author Sid Fleischman. Playing recorder in early music consorts led to his books of verbal duets—I Am Phoenix, Joyful Noise (winner of the 1989 Newbery Medal), and Big Talk. His novels built from monologues include Bull Run, a 16-character account of the Civil War's first battle, and Seedfolks—the chronicle of the first year of a Cleveland community garden. His interest in theater inspired his young adult novels Mind's Eye, Seek, and Breakout, all of which revolve around the spoken word. His historical fiction includes Saturnalia and The Borning Room. He's written nonfiction and picture books as well, including Time Train, Weslandia, and Sidewalk Circus.

Alongside the Newbery Medal, he's won a Newbery Honor Book, the Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction, the PEN West Literary Award, the California Young Reader Medal, and most recently was a finalist for the 2003 National Book Award. He makes his home in the village of Aromas, California.

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